Floral 27

Dona C. Eley

June 22, 1951 ~ January 22, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old


Eley, Dona C. (nee Carsia) age 71, of Buffalo, NY, passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2023.

Dona Eley was born June 22, 1951 in Fairfield, CA to Dominic and Marie Carsia. Her father’s military career brought them to Hampton, Virginia in 1963 where the family settled and where Dona’s 97-year-old mother, Marie, lives to this day. 

Upon graduating from Hampton High School, Dona entered UNC Greensboro and completed a degree in English, followed by a Master’s degree in guidance counseling from UNC Chapel Hill. 

It was while working in the Chapel Hill public school system that Dona met her husband of 43 years, David Eley, who was teaching  junior-highschool science at the time. After marrying in 1979, David began a career in the Coast Guard that would take them far from their home states of Virginia and North Carolina.

Dona and David had two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth, with whom they would move to Pittsburgh, PA, London, England, and Juneau, Alaska where Dona and David remained for 20  years.

Dona’s life was defined by her Christian faith and church community. Dona was an active member of churches wherever she lived and she developed deep, lasting friendships all across the world. Dona’s vocation as a mental health therapist developed into a career while living in Juneau, AK where she practiced therapy for the Juneau Christian Counseling Center for 17 years. 

For many years, Dona shared her professional skills and passion for international ministry making annual trips to Palestine, where she supported the work of her friends from the Palestinian Bible Society, providing mental health support and parenting workshops to both staff and community members.

Dona and David moved to Buffalo, NY permanently in 2015 to be close to their daughters’ families (Maria in Buffalo, and Elizabeth in Montreal). While in Buffalo, Dona devoted her time to her grandsons, her church community, volunteer work at 716 ministries, and exploring nature around their cabin in Colden, NY.

Dona’s battle with breast cancer began in 2014, and returned in 2018. For over four years she underwent various treatments for stage 4 cancer, and was always grateful for the care she received at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. There were many times of discomfort, exhaustion, and discouragement, but never bitterness. Dona chronicled her cancer journey and her spiritual insights on a blog that has brought hope and inspiration to many. Dona would be honored for her writing to continue to be shared.  https://donaeley.blog 

Dona’s family is very grateful for the support of dear friends as well as Hospice Buffalo who assisted in her care during her final month of life.

 Dona is survived by her devoted husband of 43 years, David Eley, her mother, Marie Carsia, her daughters Maria and Elizabeth Eley  and their families which include son-in-laws Josh and Rob and 4 grandsons Marlon, Desmond, Truman, and Nico.

No prior visitation. Arrangements by LOMBARDO FUNERAL HOME (Northtowns Chapel) Amherst, NY. Interment at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.lombardofuneralhome.com In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to 716 ministries or Jericho Road Community Health Center Vive Shelter.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 28 at 11 AM at House of Grace, 175 Potomac Ave., Buffalo, NY 14213 with a reception to follow at Five Loaves Farm, 70 W. Delevan Ave., Buffalo, NY 14213.




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